By Tenaya Wickstrand, Zenzi Communications As CEO of your company, have you ever thought about how you would describe the personality of your brand? This may seem like a simple question, but it is also one with which we see many brands struggle at Zenzi Communications. And one that I got to thinking about more personally after buying a pair of glasses. Why do consumers gravitate toward particular brands over others, beyond the basics of product, price, place and promotion? Why does Southwest Airlines have more than 3.5 million likes on Facebook, while many competitors are only in the tens or hundreds of thousands at best?Why would some people prefer to meet at a Starbucks over other coffee shops and swear by their “grande” latte each morning? Could it be that some brands are more tapped into their own unique personalities and consistently better at presenting their images—from their products and services to their announcements and interactions on social channels? What makes a brand’s personality stand out is encompassed by a single word; its personality must be “authentic.” To be successful, a brand’s unique persona must be conveyed in a sincere, honest and consistent way and interwoven into each aspect of the way the company does business. Having a strategy behind your brand’s persona can help to make or break customer loyalty and the success of your business. We’ve all seen social media posts from major brands pointing to funny videos or current events, but if there isn’t a strategy behind what the brand really is about, these efforts fall short in creating a complete, lasting impression. One brand that gets this and knocks it out of the park is Warby Parker. This New York-based company is changing the eyewear industry through its “rebellious spirit and lofty objective: to create boutique-quality, classically crafted eyewear at a revolutionary price point.” Why do I, and several of Warby’s 138,000 fans, actively follow and engage with them on social media? It is the uniqueness and overall persona portrayed as if Warby Parker is a single person rather than an emotionless company. Warby Parker expresses a personality that is based on excitement, something I’m drawn to along with thousands of others. Through social media and marketing campaigns, Warby Parker conveys a team and brand that is carefree, spirited and youthful. For example, they share outrageous pictures of team costume days, which exemplifies their lighthearted nature and makes the brand appear more human. As mentioned earlier, consistency is another key component to being successful when it comes to brand persona.One-off social posts won’t create lasting relationships. Consumers want to feel connected to your brand just as they feel connected to their friends.Consistency allows you to stay engaged and keep them curious about what you are up to, where you’ve been, and what’s new in your world, just like they would any other friend on social media. There were many business-related aspects of Warby Parker that immediately got me hooked such as price, unique offerings and great customer service, but it’s been the personality that keeps me engaged and checking back even after my initial purchase. Even their job postings page illustrates their personality. I’ll admit that I became a big fan when I saw that last Halloween they decorated their conference room after a “kill room” from the Showtime show Dexter, one of my favorites. This is just one example of how visibly showing your personality can resonate with your audience and connect them in a way that just pushing out new products never will. Also, did I mention their Buy a Pair, Give a Pair program that gives a pair of glasses to someone in need with each purchase of a pair? This gives them extra kudos! As an executive of your company, are you carefully considering what your brand represents and how each of your actions as a company is either supporting or breaking that persona? Your customers are. Tapping into “who you are” and developing a strategy around brand persona can help to further the goals of your business.That strategy should then extend into all aspects of your business, from product offerings, pricing, promotion, and media relations to social media, content development and other online channels.
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